The God of My Depths

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an emotionally complex guy. (My wife will be the first to testify.) I can vacillate wildly between hope and despair, joy and sadness, love and seeming apathy. It frustrates me sometimes, because “hope, joy, and love” are where I’d prefer to…

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How to “Pray for Healing”

I sat by the bedside of a dear friend of mine last night. Barely 24 hours removed from a multiple-bypass open heart surgery, he was in excruciating pain. We had spent about an hour together at that point, and during our time I would watch his agony rise in swells….

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Entering the Heart of God in Prayer

One of the saddest things I routinely encounter as a pastor is the reality that most people’s prayer lives hover somewhere between barely-hanging-on and utterly non-existent. That is sad because God desires more for us, and that “more” can and will satisfy us. The prophet Isaiah said that the redeemed…

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On the Life that is Stronger than Death :: Pentecost Sunday

“Son of man,” the Lord asked the prophet Ezekiel, many centuries ago, “Can these bones live?” These bones that represented the waste and devastation that had become Israel; Israel, that once proud people, the glory of the whole earth, the apple of Yahweh’s eye, now pining away in exile, full…

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Good Friday :: The Unbreakable Music

  “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…” So said the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Scholars note that specific word choice used by Paul is technical in nature. “Received”…

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Ash Wednesday :: On Learning to Speak

She came up to me after a service one Sunday night. Tears in her eyes, trembling, she was still holding the sacrament in her fingers–a bit of bread, soggy and quivering, right along with her hands. “Can I ask you a question?” she said. “Should you take this if you…

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We Can Do Better Than “Loving Liturgy”

I grew up in an almost totally non-liturgical family and church tradition. “Non-denominational charismatic” is how I’ve often described by background to people who ask. My parents and most of their friends had been mainliners and/or Catholics with a marginal faith before they encountered God in the person of the…

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“Only Where Graves Are” ebook available next week

Hey friends – I’m super excited to let you know about a project I’ve been working on for Lent this year. I’ve been talking for years about doing more substantive writing, and several months ago I decided that now was the time. I wanted to work on a project that would…

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